How to Fix Keyboard Light Not Working on MacBook

Having trouble with your keyboard light not working on Macbook?

Most of the computers manufactured in today’s world come equipped with backlit keyboards. Specifically talking about Apple products, the Macs in Macbook Air and Pro lineup feature a backlit keyboard. The feature not only helps users work in dim environments but also makes their computers appear fancier.

For the same reason, many users prefer keeping the keyboard lights on at all times. Luckily, it uses low-power LED power which doesn’t affect the battery. However, in a few situations, the keyboard lights suddenly stop working for no apparent reason.

This calls for immediate solutions, and that is where we come into play. Below are a few troubleshooting methods to help you combat the situation. They have been tested and proven to resolve the keyboard light not working on Macbook issues in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

1. Change Keyboard Brightness. 

Since it’s best to start with the most basic fixes, we advise you to manually change the keyboard brightness first. It’s possible that you may have unintentionally and unknowingly set the brightness level to 0.

Earlier Mac models had keyboard shortcut keys that enabled you to modify brightness settings with only a single press of the key. However, in the newer models, the brightness buttons on the keyboard have been replaced, and the related settings have been moved to the control center.

To change the brightness, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Control Center by clicking on its icon from the menu bar. 
  2. Next, select the Keyboard Brightness icon
keyboard brightness
  1. Lastly, drag the slider to the left or right to manually adjust keyboard brightness. 
Keyboard Light Not Working on MacBook

Alternatively, you may:

  1. Press the F6 key from your Mac keyboard to increase the brightness. 
  2. Also, press the F5 key to decrease the keyboard brightness. 

2. Turn Off Power Saving Mode. 

Most electronic devices have started featuring a power-saving or low-power mode. These features help in saving the battery life and preventing quick battery drainage. All unnecessary and background activity is restricted when turned on, and most battery drainage features are also turned off.

If you have enabled Power Saving mode on your Macbook, it could be why the keyboard lights are not working. While the backlights don’t significantly impact the battery life, they will help reduce the drainage rate to some extent.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the Apple menu from the top bar. 
  2. Select System Preferences and click on Energy Saver.
energy saver in system preferences
  1. Next, click on Battery from the left pane. 
  2. On the right side of the screen, uncheck the box next to Low power mode
battery settings in mac

2. Change Keyboard Settings. 

Keyboard settings in Mac also include an option that turns off the keyboard lights after a specific period of inactivity. Moreover, Mac also adjusts keyboard brightness when surrounding light intensity changes. 

Although both options help save battery, they can be quite annoying when working in dark rooms, etc. Hence, if you’re facing the keyboard light not working on Macbook problem, you may want to turn these options off and adjust the brightness on your own. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple menu from the top bar. 
  2. After that, click on System Preferences
apple menu
  1. Now, select Keyboard
keyboard in system preferences
  1. Once in Keyboard settings, uncheck the box next to Adjust keyboard brightness in low light
  2. Also, uncheck the box for Turn keyboard backlight off after x secs of inactivity.
Keyboard Light Not Working on MacBook

3. Check the Macbook Light Sensor. 

Macbooks also feature a light sensor at the top of the screen. When the sensor is exposed to direct lighting, sunshine, strong lights, or glares, the illumination indicator and controls become locked. The feature’s goal is to block the backlighting automatically when it’s not needed.

To prevent this, you need to position the Macbook in a way that the direct light doesn’t fall on its display and near the front camera. If this doesn’t help, move to the following method.

5. Reboot Your Mac.

If you think that a minor bug in the system is preventing the keyboard lights from working, restarting the Mac may fix your problem. All your temporary data and services will shut down and start fresh, hopefully fixing the keyboard lights.

Follow the steps below to do it:

  1. Simply click on the Apple menu from the top-left corner. 
  2. Then, select Restart.
restart option in mac

4. Reset SMC. 

It’s possible that the backlit keyboard feature has gone missing from the keyboard preferences on your Macbook. When that happens, you may need to reset the System Management Controller or SMC, which is responsible for various hardware options and system-level power functions.

Here’s how to reset SMC on your Macbook:

  1. Start by clicking on the Apple menu icon and selecting Shut Down
  2. Next, put your Macbook on charge. 
  3. After that, press and hold Shift + Control + Option keys from your keyboard along with the Power button
Keyboard Light Not Working on MacBook
  1. Let go of all the keys at once as you notice a color change on your Mac adapter. The change of color indicates that SMC has been reset successfully. 
  2. Now, press the Power button again to boot your Macbook and check if your issue has been solved or not. 

5. Contact AppleCare.

If no other methods seem to be effective in your case, you need to contact Apple customer care. The team will help you determine the root cause and subsequently fix it. If the problem resides in the hardware of your Mac instead of the software, you’ll have to take it to the nearby Apple Store and take assistance from their professional team.

This brings us to the end of our guide on how to fix the keyboard light not working on Macbook. Hopefully, the methods mentioned in this guide helped in resolving your issue. If you have any other questions or confusion, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below. We’ll try our best to help you out. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 😊


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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